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Helen Ernestine “Ernie” Allen


Sept. 12, 1928 – July 14, 2018

A funeral service was held for Helen Ernestine “Ernie” Allen Saturday, July 21, at Christ Lutheran Church in Coos Bay. Ernie was born Sept. 12, 1928 to James Joshua and Helen Margaret (Fraser) Yates in St. Joseph, Missouri. She passed away July 14, 2018 in Coos Bay at the age of 89.

Ernie lived and thrived in her hometown of St. Joseph with her brother Jack and extended family. She excelled in her schoolwork, ran track and worked at a drugstore soda fountain after school. Ernie graduated high school at the age of 16 and business college at the age of 18. She then traveled across the country by train to Oregon. Ernie worked as an usher at the Egyptian Theatre and in the office at Pacific Power. Ernie enjoyed dancing and met the love of her life, Herbert “Herb” Ethan Allen at a dance. It was “love at first sight” and they were united in marriage April 2, 1948. They resided in Coos Bay for all the years they shared together and raised their family of four daughters.

Ernie was preceded in death by her beloved husband in October of this past year. The couple was laid to rest together in the “Garden of Devotion” at Myrtle Crest Memorial Gardens in a private interment service that included the reading of a letter Ernie had written to her oldest grandson, Jason. Ernie was known for her letters to all her family as she was a steady producer of “snail mail” to those she held dear to her heart that did not live close to her touch. An ice cream social was held after the service to celebrate her great love for ice cream and to share stories and memories.

During her working years, Ernie also worked for Equitable Savings and for the city of Coos Bay. She also spent many years volunteering for Red Cross blood drives. Ernie’s favorite “job” was taking care of her family. She often expressed her thankfulness that the Lord had blessed her with such a loving family to care for. Ernie was a skilled seamstress who kept her girls and her grandchildren well supplied with handmade clothing and blankets. She loved making homemade goodies to serve her guests. After retirement, Herb and Ernie together enjoyed going on camping trips, CB radio breaks and motorcycle races.

Ernie was a long time faithful member of Christ Lutheran Church and Wednesday morning Bible classes. She loved to send cards, share her smile and pictures and to collect hugs.

Ernie is survived by her four daughters, Joyce Aleksa of Gresham, Nancy and husband, Gary Horner of Coos Bay, Cynthia LeClerc of Coos Bay, and Diane and husband, Chuck Nelson of North Bend; six grandsons, Jason Aleksa, Jake Horner, Brandon LeClerc, Cody LeClerc, Jesse LeClerc and Ben Nelson; five granddaughters, Jamie Christensen, Jana Lehn, Traci Howerton, Wendi VanDitto and Sara Nelson, as well as 25 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. She was generous with her love and her smile and will be greatly missed.

Ernie was preceded in death by her husband, Herb; her parents; her brother, Jack; and great-grandsons, Jordon David Aleksa and Wyatt Patrick Lehn.

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In Ernie’s memory, take time to write a friend or loved one and sign it with ~ Love and Prayers. As you slip your note in the mailbox, send it on its way with a smile.

Special thanks to all the hospice workers for your loving care these past few months.

Arrangements are under the care of Myrtle Grove Funeral Service- Bay Area, 541-269-2851.

Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at and

the life of: Helen Ernestine “Ernie” Allen
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